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Watch Jay Leno Break the Quarter-Mile Record in a Tesla Model S Plaid

Back in June 2021, Jay Leno was invited by Tesla to race the Model S Plaid over the quarter mile at the Famoso Raceway in California. Finally published in full on YouTube by CNBC Prime, the featured video reveals how easy it was for the TV host to break into the 9.2-second range.
Watch Jay Leno Break the Quarter-Mile Record in a Tesla Model S Plaid 7 photos
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More specifically, he needed 9.247 seconds as opposed to 9.4 seconds for the Bugatti Chiron Sport. Jay Leno crossed the finish line at 152.09 miles per hour (244.76 kilometers per hour), a trap speed that makes the base Model S blush with admiration. The base Model 3, meanwhile, tops 140 miles per hour (225 kilometers per hour) as per the build-your-own tool.

Excluding potential savings and taxes, the Model S Plaid will set you back a whopping $129,990 before options. In this configuration, the all-electric sedan with three-motor oomph promises 348 miles (528 kilometers) of driving range, a top speed of 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour), and zero to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) in 1.99 seconds.

The Feature Details menu of the configurator lists the acceleration time with a small asterisk, which is explained as follows: "first foot of rollout subtracted." Tesla also lists the quarter-mile time at 9.23 seconds at 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) as long as you subtract the first foot.

Adding insult to injury, Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained called out MotorTrend for not mentioning the first foot of rollout once in their Model S Plaid instrumented test from June 2021. Features editor Christian Seabaugh then tweeted the acceleration without rollout (2.07 seconds) and the acceleration without rollout and on an unprepped surface (2.28 seconds).

Two words for both MotorTrend and Tesla: tsk tsk. But on the other hand, can you think of a more impressive car for the money? I surely can’t, which is why I cannot ever hate on the Model S Plaid even though it sure needs a styling update because the Model S will celebrate its 10th birthday in 2022.



 
 
 
 
 

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